Hot Mic Catches Jesse Jackson Hammering Obama; Jackson Apologizes

By Natalie Gewargis

Jul 9, 2008 4:33pm

Apparently unaware of a hot microphone, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, made a crude and disparaging remark along the lines of wanting to rip Obama’s genitals off in reference to how Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., might be alienating African-Americans with various moral instructions.

Jackson has issued this apology, saying: "For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize.  My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal.  I cherish this redemptive and historical moment. My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility."

Concluded Jackson: "That was the context of my private conversation and it does not reflect any disparagement on my part for the historic event in which we are involved or my pride in Senator Barack Obama, who is leading it, whom I have supported by crisscrossing this nation in every level of media and audience from the beginning in absolute terms."

The Obama campaign has no plans to respond as of now.

But here’s something you don’t see every day.

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., D-Ill. just released the following statement as a reaction to the crude and disparaging remarks his father — the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

Says Jackson JUNIOR in a statement: "I’m deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama.  His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee — and I believe the next president of the United States — contradict his inspiring and courageous career. Instead of tearing others down, Barack Obama wants to build the country up and bring people together so that we can move forward, together — as one nation.  The remarks like those uttered on Fox by Revered Jackson do not advance the campaign’s cause of building a more perfect Union."

Concludes Rep. Jackson, Jr.: "Revered Jackson is my dad and I’ll always love him.  He should know how hard that I’ve worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.  So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric.  He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself."

The Obama campaign issued a statement late Wednesday, accepting the apology but continuing the underlying message.

"As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children’s lives. He also discusses our responsibility as a society to provide jobs, justice, and opportunity for all. He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology," said spokesman Bill Burton. 

- jpt

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus